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The Banner Saga is a fantasy tactical role-playing video game developed by Stoic Studio and published by Versus Evil. It was initially released for personal computers and mobile phones in January 2014. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions were released in 2016, with a Nintendo Switch version released in 2018.
Taking place in a fictional world inspired by Norse mythology, the game tells the story of the player's caravan as a whole, as they combat a warlike race named Dredge that despises humans. The game follows two playable characters, each having their own story that ultimately merges into one. The game features an interactive story which changes depending on players' decisions.
The game served as the debut title for Stoic Studio, which was founded by three former BioWare designers. The game was funded via Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform. The hand-drawn animation and art-style featured in the game was inspired by the art of Eyvind Earle, Ralph Bakshi and Don Bluth. Austin Wintory composed the game's music, with Dallas Wind Symphony performing. The game's multiplayer component, titled The Banner Saga: Factions, was released as a free standalone game before the game's release.
The game received critical praise upon release, with critics praising the game's art style, combat, and story. The game was followed by The Banner Saga 2 (2016) and The Banner Saga 3 (2018), which concluded the series. A tabletop RPG tie-in miniseries, produced by Hyper RPG, aired from July 24 to August 14, 2018 on Twitch.
The Banner Saga is an interactive story, meaning that several events may or may not happen depending on the player's choices. The game follows two playable characters, each having their own story that ultimately merges into one. The core of the game is a single-player campaign of turn-based combat engagements inspired by games such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Shining Force, with the player controlling and being able to build up a party of characters with complementary abilities. The game deliberately avoids certain conventions of action-oriented computer role-playing games such as the focus on a young lone hero's story, looting and buying items, or reloading a saved game state after defeat. Instead, the developers intended to tell the story of the player's caravan as a whole, and encourage players to accept and deal with the consequences of any defeats they may encounter.
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The Banner Saga System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7
- Processor: Intel Dual Core 2,4 GHz
- RAM: 2 GB
- Video Card: GeForce 9600 GT or Radeon HD 3850
- Hard disk space: 5 GB